Fresno State Interim president Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval unveiled the university’s plans for the spring semester and discussed the increase of in-person classes in fall 2021.
The semester will begin on Jan. 21, and more than 300 classes will resume face-to-face instruction on Feb. 8 — three times more than the fall 2020 semester. There will be 11% of students and faculty on campus, and they’re expected to follow the same health protocols from last semester.
As for Fresno State’s plans for the fall semester, the university expects 70% of faculty members to teach in-person classes and the remaining 30% to teach virtually.
“We are encouraging our faculty to return to campus in fall 2021,” Jiménez-Sandoval said.
Fresno State is aware that there are some faculty members at risk of COVID-19, and it will be working with them to accommodate them.
Interim Provost Dr. Xuanning Fu will send out surveys and communicate with faculty members who will want to teach virtually to plan for the fall semester.
Fresno State students can expect to receive more financial aid heading into the spring.
From the federal stimulus package signed by Congress, Fresno State received around $54 million, Jiménez-Sandoval said. Last semester, $16.4 million went to students in grants and the university is projecting that at least the same amount will go to students this semester, Jiménez-Sandoval added.
As for possible graduation plans, nothing has been decided yet.
“We are exploring everything and we are also waiting for what the guidelines will be for both the governor’s office as well as for the CSU,” Jiménez-Sandoval said. “I don’t know if it’s going to be feasible to come together in person at the Save Mart Center where everything is closed in and to see our students graduate.”
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Carolyn Coon is coordinating possible graduation activities to celebrate students, Jiménez-Sandoval said.
Additionally, Fresno State is in talks with Fresno County to make the Save Mart Center or the Student Recreation Center a vaccination site, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer Debbie Adishian-Astone said. Parking lots could potentially be a site for drive-thru vaccinations.
For fall 2021, the university has seen an increase in college applications. Jiménez-Sandoval said that Fresno State has more than 200 applications compared to last year.